Monday, August 3, 2015

What I Learned Through Education

Another semester has come and, thankfully, gone. This course above all others required so much more of me than I was prepared to give. I chalk it up to inspiration that I dropped my second course the week before school began. Before I proceed and it sounds like I'm just whiny about hard work and deadlines let me just say that is not the case. I am not afraid to roll up my sleeves and dig in. I may not enjoy it but I will stay up late, change plans, and work ahead to make sure I meet my deadlines.I'm generally known to be quite the procrastinator but I find I can't even consider it in my schoolwork (perhaps I should be in school full time).

With that out of the way the deadlines were RIDICULOUS!! Being two time zones away doesn't help anything. I understand pushing us to succeed but the class allowed us two days for some of these projects - it was INSANE!!  And sometimes it felt like less because we weren't given video instruction until Tuesday night for an assignment due for critique on Wednesday (which I always wanted to receive) for final submission on Thursday. There was even an assignment that took over 15 hours...for ONE assignment. But we made it. :)

Admittedly I push myself way too hard. My first college experience left MUCH to be desired and I earned grades then I am not proud of. I'm working twice as hard, it seems, to make up for it. There were nights this semester, weekly and sometimes more, where I would be so tired and stressed that I would collapse on the floor in tears, literally, crying out in prayer for strength just to make it through one more night (it sounds so embarrassing now but I believe in laying out the facts). I would call my mom and ask her just to tell me it was going to be okay. She would faithfully answer and then pray with me, sometimes over the phone, sometimes she'd come to my house. Always prayer brought the peace and strength to move forward.

I learned so much this semester. I learned about image design, Photoshop, Lightroom, and InDesign. I learned about photography, color schemes, and typography. And I LOVED it!! I'd take it again in a heartbeat (if the deadlines were adjusted just slightly, of course). But what I learned above everything else was the love my Heavenly Father has for me. I learned in ways I can't explain that He truly is interested in the very minute details of our lives. He is the ultimate Creator and I firmly believe that as we strive to create He will work with us if we turn to Him. I learned SO QUICKLY that I couldn't do this on my own. Some of it was deadline worry, and some was outright fear of the assignments. It didn't matter what I was doing, when I prayed and sought Heaven's help I received it.

It wasn't always the help I expected either. Sometimes I would remember a piece of instruction I had received from the instructor. Other times it was a thought of where to look for help. Sometimes it came in the form of words from a classmate. And other times it was a remembrance of something I had "seen" previously. Those were the most special ones to me. In one particular assignment I had to create a movie poster. Several months ago as I fought through a hard time I was wishing I could draw this design around me that was dark below and bright above. I don't see trying times as a left shoulder/right shoulder type image (think of the little shoulder angel/devil cartoons we always see). When I have hard times I physically feel brought down, and I'm sure I'm not alone in that. Fast forward months later to this assignment and as I was sketching out any idea I could think of (and there weren't many) a thought came to mind of this poster I had imagined. Some may call it coincidence, but it wasn't. I was prompted and inspired to remember that image in a moment of need.

It really was an amazing experience this semester. I wish we had longer to really practice our skills with the tools we had in this course. While I may not have the design tools available, the spiritual tools and experiences I had throughout the semester are a part of me now and forever.

If you're interested I've included my portfolio of designs for the semester.

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